What are ‘Judeo-Christian values’? Analyzing a divisive term

block of American society. ­But for critics of how the term is used today, Judeo-Christian is vague, historically flawed and even inflammatory. These opposing views reflect a deep rift in American society and illuminate very different fundamental political beliefs.

“This is a term defined by exclusion,” said Shalom Goldman, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, arguing that the term is often used to reject secular values and Muslims.

“It’s essentially saying our values are not the values of the Enlightenment or the Constitution, but instead our values are the values of the Bible,” he said.

Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the Washington-based Interfaith Alliance, called the term a “generalization” and said it is one “Christians in particular use to put a patina of universality on a certain Christian culture in the United States.”

I’m amused by the quirky way the “Thin Bread Crust” meme remixes the remix.

I’m interested in the way the “Thin Blue Line” design remixes the American Flag.   I’m amused by the quirky way the “Thin Bread Crust” meme remixes the remix. As I was fact-checking (as I habitually do before sharing) I found a 2018 USA Today article reporting that “drivers/sales workers and truck drivers” suffered 135.9 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers as opposed to 14.6 per 100,000 fatal injuries for “police…

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You Must Not ‘Do Your Own Research’ When It Comes To Science

I don’t have scientific expertise. I work with people who do. I trust their informed opinions on scientific matters far more than I trust my own ability to “do the research” in areas where they have far more expertise than I do. I would not expect a metallurgist to be able to fix my rusty car, and I would not expect my local mechanic to invent an anti-rust alloy. The…

Our Publication Stands By the Decision to Give a Platform to the Sea Monster Trying to Devour Our Entire Town

We understand many readers find the kraken’s point of view dangerous, but that is why we offered it for public scrutiny and debate. Though Trallonous’ position may have seemed clear from the moment he regurgitated thousands of sailor bones to block every exit out of town, it is always important to critically examine where the other side is coming from. Doing so allows us to better understand the sea demon’s perspective (we should be his food) as well as our own (no we shouldn’t).

Donald Trump Is a Broken Man (Assessment by Speechwriter for Reagan and both Bushes)

Powerful assessment of Donald Trump, written by Peter Wehner, a speechwriter who served Reagan and both Bushes. For context, here’s what Wehner writes about the conservative movement during the Reagan years: The conservative movement in the 1980s, although hardly flawless, was intellectually serious and politically optimistic. And Reagan himself was a man of personal decency, grace, and class. While often the target of nasty attacks, he maintained a remarkably charitable…

Background for Trump’s remarkable pivot to a pro-mask stance; via right-leaning Forbes and The National Review

Background for Trump’s remarkable pivot to a pro-mask stance. First, here’s a report from the right-leaning Forbes, last week. One possible reason for Trump’s continued public embrace of Fauci–even as he shirks his advice behind the scenes–is Fauci’s popularity: an Economist/YouGov poll released Wednesday showed 55% of voters surveyed have a favorable view of Fauci compared to 25% who have an unfavorable view. Those sky-high numbers are reflected in other…

‘Wear a mask.’ Trump predicts coronavirus will ‘get worse’ as he returns to briefings

In a shift in tone, and after weeks of focusing public events on other issues, Trump urged Americans to wear a mask. […] “We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask,” Trump said in perhaps his strongest urging to date on that issue. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they have an effect. We need…

Masks serve many purposes. How sad that they’ve become politicized.

I’ve seen the original meme on my social media feed. I’ve fixed it. The purpose of the first three masks differs from the purpose of the fourth mask. The first three masks are designed to protect the wearer from breathing in harmful things in the environment. The mask Dr. Fauci wears is designed not to protect Dr. Fauci from the virus, but to protect people around Dr. Fauci from droplets…

No, this photo of people wearing coats standing in front of bare trees was not a fake news media attempt to misrepresent what’s happening in Texas and Arizona in July

It’s distressing and shocking to realize that some people are more willing to spread conspiracy theory shit than it they are to check their sources. Isn’t it the bad guys who are supposed to be spreading lies? I like reading news stories for myself, rather than spreading disinformation on social media. How hard is it to Google for “Refrigerated trucks requested in Texas and Arizona as morgues fill up due…

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No, Dr. Anthony Fauci did not write the “How dare you you risk the lives of others so cavalierly?” essay

A copy-paste meme I’ve encountered recently compares chickenpox, herpes and HIV with COVID-19, and builds up to a powerful rebuke to those who dismiss the seriousness of the current pandemic. I was particularly moved by these words: For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want…

What the police really believe: Inside the distinctive, largely unknown ideology of American policing — and how it justifies racist violence.

“That whole thing about the bad apple? I hate when people say that,” Rizer tells me. “The bad apple rots the barrel. And until we do something about the rotten barrel, it doesn’t matter how many good fucking apples you put in.” Fascinating story, that starts by focusing on Arthur Rizer, a former military police officer who directs the criminal justice program at “a center-right think tank in DC.”  Also…

Stick to facts, but write news your readers will actually want to read.

Students who put a lot of effort into learning the editing guidelines in the AP Stylebook might benefit from the occasional reminder that good news writing requires the creative use of language, a good idea for detail and the ability to make connections between your readers and the news. The sources we interview are real people, and we can’t invent details or speculate about what sources think or how they…

No, Trump’s tweet about “Heritage, History, and Greatness” is not a quote from a speech Hitler gave in 1939

Trump really did tweet “This is a battle to save the Heritage, History, and Greatness of our Country!” Plugging those words into Google Translate yields “Dies ist ein Kampf um die Rettung des Erbes, der Geschichte und der Größe unseres Landes!” I could be wrong, but I think Größe in German just means “physical size,” or “dimensions” rather than “greatness” in the sense of “having achieved many great things.” Hitler…